How Much Is Your Old Water Heater Costing You?

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According to, the average household spends $400 to $600 on water heating each year, and it’s the second largest utility expense in your home, accounting for 14 to 18 percent of your utility bill. Additionally, about 27 million households in the U.S. have water heaters that are more than ten years old.

With the new energy efficiency standards in water heaters, you may not save money by waiting to replace your old water heater. Old water heaters are much less energy efficient, both because they are aging and because standards were lower back then, which could mean more money you’re paying each month in energy costs compared to a newer heater.

It’s generally accepted that most water heaters last about 13 years. If yours is anywhere close to that, it probably uses a lot more energy than modern water heaters. Ten years ago, hot water accounted for about a quarter of the typical home’s energy use; today, with more efficient heaters, it’s only about 18 percent. Therefore, anyone with a water heater that is seven or more years old will probably save money in the long run by replacing the water heater with a newer, more efficient model.

technician repairing a water heater

Types of Water Heaters

New water heaters are significantly more efficient than older models. There have also been giant leaps in technology for different types of water heaters that have added efficiency and other appealing features. 

  1. Conventional water heaters store hot water in a tank, ready for use at all times. The tank is constantly heated, powered by electricity or natural gas. Energy is lost because it must be expended to keep the water tank hot, even when the water is not in use. To be more efficient, buy an insulated water tank.
  2. Tankless or on-demand water heaters do not use a storage tank; they heat the water as needed. Because it isn’t constantly heating a tank even when not needed, tankless water heaters offer significant energy savings. They take up significantly less space than traditional tank models and can be installed anywhere they can access waterlines and electricity. 
  3. Heat pump water heaters move heat from outside, underground, or aquifers to your water system, heating water for your home. This process is highly efficient with relatively minimal electrical requirements. 

Consider upgrading your water heater to a new model or even type and make your money back in energy savings.

technician holds water heater thermometer

Other Ways To Save On Your Water Heater Utility Bill

If getting a new water heater isn’t an option, there are other ways to make your old one more efficient and save you a little money on heating costs. Here are a few more ways you can enjoy water heating savings:

  • Install Heat Traps: If it doesn’t already have them, heat traps on your tank could reduce your bill by as much as $15 to $30.
  • Invest in Low-Flow Faucets and Shower Heads: Anything pre-1992 lets too much water through. By installing new low-flow faucets, you could save up to 60 percent on your water bill.
  • Insulate: Insulating everything, from the hot water tank to the pipes carrying the hot water out of the heater, can help cut costs by preserving the heat in the tank and the pipes.
  • Lower Water Heater Temperature: For every 10-degree reduction in temperature, you can save 3 to 5 percent on your water heating costs.
  • Fix Leaks: A leak with just one drip per second can cost $1 a month. That’s 60 drips per minute, 8.64 gallons per day, 239 gallons per month, and 3,153 gallons per year. That’s a lot of waste! We can help find any water leaks you may have. 

Do you want to save money and feel good about helping the environment at the same time? Contact Cincinnati-based Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing for more information about how replacing your water heater can help you cut energy costs.

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